Nepal votes in second general elections under new constitution

Kathmandu, Nov 20 (EFE).- Around 18 million Nepalis were registered to vote in Sunday’s general elections, the second to be held under the new constitution approved in 2015, as the country seeks to leave behind long-term political instability which has led to no government completing its term in decades.

Election Commission spokesperson Saligram Sharma Poudel told EFE that voters had turned up in large numbers early on Sunday despite low temperatures, which showed that the turnout could be high.

As many as 10,892 polling stations and 22,227 voting centers opened at 7 am and are set to close at 5 pm.

The elections are set to elect 275 members of the house of representatives as well as 550 lawmakers for regional assemblies.

Large queues had formed at some polling booths early on Sunday even before the voting began.

Sita Tamang told EFE in Bhaktapur, a suburb of the capital, that she had arrived at the booth at 5 am to vote early and return home.

“These leader don’t address the grievances of the people. I hope this election will bring some changes and elect some honest leaders,” she told EFE.

The Election Commission said that around 300,000 members of the security forces have been deployed to ensure peaceful polls, with the results set to be announced on Dec. 8.

After the counting of votes and a new parliament being elected, the process to choose the next prime minister will kick off in a country which has been governed by 27 PMs in the last three decades.

Nepal approved its new constitution in 2015 after a peace process that ended a decade-long civil war that first broke out in 1996 between Maoist rebels and official forces of the Hindu monarchy that ruled the country back then.

The main players in these elections are the social-democratic Nepali Congress led by incumbent prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and the opposition led by Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), the biggest left party headed by former PM KP Sharma Oli. EFE


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